Welcome Guest
Log In | Register )
You last visited December 4, 2016, 1:15 pm
All times shown are
Eastern Time (GMT-5:00)

N.C. Lottery passage threatens S.C. education programs

South Carolina LotterySouth Carolina Lottery: N.C. Lottery passage threatens S.C. education programs

The South Carolina lottery's impact can be felt throughout the education system, and the state faces several challenges if North Carolina gets into the lottery business.

Look no further than Irmo High School to get a feel for how important lottery-funded scholarships are in South Carolina.

Some Irmo parents were furious recently after learning that select college-prep courses, available to just 29 students, could alter class rankings. That could affect who qualifies for a $5,000 or $6,700 lottery scholarship for college.

The state provides that financial aid from lottery earnings to A and B students with upper-tier class rankings and college entrance exams above the national average, a combination that can shave thousands from future tuition bills at S.C. colleges.

However, South Carolina's lottery-financed scholarships could be hurt if North Carolina gets into the lottery business, cutting into the Palmetto State's lottery profits. Those profits are spent on education — from kindergarten through college.

"We knew this was coming," state Sen. Joel Lourie, D-Richland, said of North Carolina's move toward a lottery. "It concerns me deeply the financial impact it will have on our revenues."

Lourie's anxiety is shared by many lawmakers. But one senior colleague is less pessimistic.

"I fully expect the lottery (profits) to decline," said Hugh Leatherman, Senate finance committee chairman.

But Leatherman expects profits to drop once the lottery's novelty wears off, not because of N.C. competition. "It won't impact us tremendously."

A Collision Course

The S.C. lottery is patterned after Georgia's lottery, and roughly half of its $329 million profits this year went to pay for merit-based scholarships that high school graduates used to defray tuition costs at the state's private and public colleges.

Some S.C. lottery profits also pay for programs in kindergarten through 12th grade in public schools, including after-school tutoring and buying buses. Public schools got $102.8 million in lottery profits during the 2004-05 school year.

State Rep. Bobby Harrell, chairman of the House budget-writing committee, said the impact of an N.C. lottery on South Carolina's spending on education is unclear.

"We really don't know right now," said Harrell, R-Charleston. "The scholarship program will continue to be funded. The other items? I don't think any of it will be cut. The funding source could change" for some programs.

However, Leatherman envisions "the state will have to cap the four-year (scholarship) program." That could mean offering less money to each future recipient, but Leatherman said it would be premature to say now.

"I want to do everything I can to make sure every one of our young people has an opportunity to get to college," Leatherman said.

Already, concerns about the lottery's future profit levels are starting to affect the state's spending decisions.

For example, State Sen. Jim Ritchie, R-Spartanburg, withdrew his name from several bills this year calling for expansion of LIFE scholarships, worth as much as $5,000 a year to eligible recipients.

"We can't continue to expand eligibility at the same time that we're losing revenue," Ritchie said.

Ritchie warned the state eventually will have to act if an N.C. lottery is approved — either cap scholarship awards or make more rigorous the criteria that students must meet to get the awards.

"If we don't do something, it looks like we're putting ourselves on a collision course," he said.

Ernie Passailaigue, S.C. lottery director, estimates a North Carolina lottery would divert more than $100 million in sales away from South Carolina's lottery. That would reduce Palmetto State lottery profits by about $30 million.

A Privilege

High school and college officials are concerned lower lottery profits could translate into fewer or smaller scholarships, sending more of the state's best and brightest students to college out of state. That could hurt the academic reputations of S.C. colleges, as well as efforts to keep bright, young South Carolinians in the state.

Robert Barkley, admissions director at Clemson University, said the number and quality of applicants his office sees has taken a noticeable upswing since South Carolina went into the lottery business in 2002.

Between 1997 and this year, the number of South Carolinians who applied for admission increased 25 percent. The number of applicants with an SAT score of 1200 or higher increased 72 percent in that same period, Barkley said.

"When you have a $20,000 carrot (the value of a LIFE scholarship over four years) hanging out there for a family making a decision about an in-state or out-of-state, it can make a huge difference," he said.

High school guidance counselors across the state tell similar stories.

"I've seen a lot of bright students, while having considered going out of state and applied there, are instead going to in-state colleges," Irmo High guidance counselor Dave Symonds said.

"We're seeing a lot more of our students (who graduate) staying in state," said Sue Gulledge, a counselor at Fort Mill High in York County. "They're really not considering going out of state as much because of the money available for in-state school."

Conrad Festa, who directs the S.C. Commission on Higher Education, the agency that coordinates scholarships, said, "Citizens have come to expect the scholarship money and the help it provides to education entirely.

"Therefore, there is going to have to be a great deal of thought on how to raise revenue to cover what has become a privilege."

K-12 Big Loser?

State Sen. John Courson, the Richland Republican who is chairman of the Senate education committee, said he is confident the Legislature's commitment to activities paid for by the lottery "is not going to change regardless of what happens in North Carolina."

But Rep. James Smith, D-Richland, isn't so sure.

"We're in danger of finding ourselves short because of all the shuffling of funds (for financial aid) we've done the past several years," Smith said.

"The Legislature has to keep faith with the people of South Carolina and the expectation that when they supported the lottery, they were going to receive higher education scholarship assistance," Smith said. "We can't go back on that promise."

That could mean less for K-12 education, some fear.

Sheila Gallagher, a Florence teacher and president of the South Carolina Education Association, said she believes most of her colleagues are resigned to North Carolina's starting a lottery.

While K-12 education has received lottery profits in the past, Gallagher called North Carolina's ongoing lottery debate "the (shooting) star coming to tell us, 'Don't do that anymore.'

"(The money) is not going to be there for us anymore if that happens."

The State

We'd love to see your comments here!  Register for a FREE membership — it takes just a few moments — and you'll be able to post comments here and on any of our forums. If you're already a member, you can Log In to post a comment.

10 comments. Last comment 12 years ago by LOTTOMIKE.
Page 1 of 1
BabyJC's avatar - Lottery-031.jpg

United States
Member #3271
January 7, 2004
148 Posts
Offline
Posted: May 9, 2005, 10:41 am - IP Logged

I think it's selfish that the state of South Carolina hopes that residents from another state continue to bankroll their education system.  They should be very grateful that they benefitted as long as they did from another state, and be happy for North Carolina that their residents will be now supporting their own state's programs.  Also for those S.C. parents furious about losing out on lottery scholarships, you should never depend on scholarships to begin with!  When your baby is born, you have 18 years to save up for their college education (no excuses)!

    psykomo's avatar - animal shark.jpg

    United States
    Member #4877
    May 30, 2004
    5116 Posts
    Online
    Posted: May 9, 2005, 11:25 am - IP Logged



    I think it's selfish that the state of South Carolina hopes that residents from another state continue to bankroll their education system.  They should be very grateful that they benefitted as long as they did from another state, and be happy for North Carolina that their residents will be now supporting their own state's programs.  Also for those S.C. parents furious about losing out on lottery scholarships, you should never depend on scholarships to begin with!  When your baby is born, you have 18 years to save up for their college education (no excuses)!



    WELL.............................said, BabyJC:

    What-aahhhhhhhhhhh  whinning.......................attitude from those SC

    lawbreakers.........I mean maker's......................sorry about thatttttttt!

    (Quote)................"We knew this was coming"...said,  state Sen. Joel

                                  Lourie, Demo-Richland,  as he stated that He knew

                                  North Carolina was getting into the lottery business.

                                "It concerns me deeply the finincial impact it will  have

                                  on our.......................................................REVENUES"

     

    Thanks a  lot  all you-alloiLLLLLLLLLL........................nice law makers!!!!!!

    PSYKOMO

     

      lottolady24's avatar - scene sunovermountains.jpg
      New Member
      West Palm Beach, Florida
      United States
      Member #14811
      May 3, 2005
      17 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: May 9, 2005, 11:42 am - IP Logged

      I absolutely agree with you BabyJC.  S.C. needs to have more than one solution for their eduation program.  They can't say that N.C. doesn't have the same rights to capitalize on profits from a state lottery. 

        Avatar
        Baton Rouge, LA
        United States
        Member #4602
        May 7, 2004
        699 Posts
        Offline
        Posted: May 9, 2005, 12:41 pm - IP Logged

        That is the result of putting all your eggs in one basket.  Louisiana made the same mistake depending heavily on oil revenue and when oil prices collapsed, the state took a big hit which took us a long time to recover from. 

        This same thing happens in places which legalize casinos.  They make alot of money off of it, but then a nearby state legalizes them, taking away most of the revenue.  SC needs to come up with a plan in case there is a big drop if NC starts up a lottery.

        PrisonerSix

          LOTTOMIKE's avatar - cash money.jpg
          Tennessee
          United States
          Member #7853
          October 15, 2004
          11338 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: May 9, 2005, 3:08 pm - IP Logged

          does anyone think north carolina has a good chance of actually getting the bills and laws passed and getting the lottery started.....anyone see rebecca paul running it maybe???

            Avatar
            New Member
            St. Louis
            United States
            Member #2341
            September 18, 2003
            15 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: May 11, 2005, 12:30 am - IP Logged

            It's one of the situations where the crybabies can't see past their own nose.  I agree.  SC enjoyed all that money from NC, but now that NC has decided to join the lottery race, SC starts whining about the money they're going to lose.

            Boo-hoo.  Hey, South Carolina, quit your whining.  Be grateful you got all that money all those years.

            I hope SC money rolls into NC's lottery.......if (and when) the lottery gets approved.

              Tnplayer805's avatar - G 14_v78828750_Small.JPG
              North Dakota
              United States
              Member #13397
              April 5, 2005
              1623 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: May 11, 2005, 1:07 am - IP Logged



              does anyone think north carolina has a good chance of actually getting the bills and laws passed and getting the lottery started.....anyone see rebecca paul running it maybe???



              For some reason I don't think Rebecca will go to NC.  She's not done with TN yet.  The only reason she left GA was because it was stable.  It's not that TN is unstable, we just don't have a strong foundation as of yet.  A director change now could cost TN big in my opinion. 

              How are you going to win if you don't play?

                wizeguy's avatar - animaniacs04

                United States
                Member #15143
                May 10, 2005
                414 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: May 11, 2005, 7:27 am - IP Logged



                does anyone think north carolina has a good chance of actually getting the bills and laws passed and getting the lottery started.....anyone see rebecca paul running it maybe???



                Unfortunately I only give NC a fair chance of passing a lottery bill this year that will pass both House and Senate. And I think they're too conservative to pay what it might take to attract a director like Rebecca Paul.

                If NC ever joins a multistate game I'd like to see MegaMillions although I think joining powerball would bring more money into the state.

                  LOTTOMIKE's avatar - cash money.jpg
                  Tennessee
                  United States
                  Member #7853
                  October 15, 2004
                  11338 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: May 13, 2005, 5:27 am - IP Logged

                  south carolina will do good regardless of north carolina having a lottery or not.

                    LOTTOMIKE's avatar - cash money.jpg
                    Tennessee
                    United States
                    Member #7853
                    October 15, 2004
                    11338 Posts
                    Offline
                    Posted: May 13, 2005, 5:27 am - IP Logged

                    sales might dip but they would pick back up.